Institute of Gerontology
The Institute of Gerontology was established with two goals in mind: to introduce interdisciplinary courses in gerontology into the University curriculum and to create a community resource for improving the lives of the urban elderly. In keeping with the goals of the University, special efforts by the Institute are directed toward identifying the problems of African-American and other minority aged and training professionals to work with them. The academic program of the Institute is directed towards providing the expertise essential for employment opportunities for university trained workers in services for the aged.
Senior Tuition Program
The policy regarding tuition and fees for senior citizens has been in effect since 1978 without change. It states that "persons 65 years of age or older, upon their application, shall be admitted to classes in the University under these provisions provided that the individuals are residents of the District of Columbia meet all established prerequisites for the course (s) to be taken; admission in a class or section will not deny space in the course or section to a regularly matriculating student of the University". The policy also states that "tuition and fees normally required of students admitted to the University will be waived except in cases where the applicant matriculated in a degree program. Such matriculating student shall pay one-half the amount set for students within their category unless otherwise deferred, or waived by specific Board of Trustee authority".
The establishment of the Community College and the selective Flagship University has not changed this policy, however, it may affect the academic unit (Flagship or Community College) in which the prospective senior is enrolled and the tuition rate charged (if the student is matriculating in a major). Senior citizens who have earned a postsecondary degree or meet Flagship admission requirements will be admitted to the Flagship University. All other applicants will be admitted to the Community College. However, senior citizens enrolled in the Community College will be permitted to take Flagship courses, if they have met the prerequisite for the courses.
Senior Companion and Respite Aide Program of Washington, DC
The Senior Companion Program is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Services and the DC Office on Aging. This program has recruited and trained thousands of senior volunteers 55 years and older living in the District of Columbia to serve other District citizens in their place of residence or at group facilities such as: senior housing buildings, senior centers, and hospitals. The respite service provided by the program has served to ease the load of family caregivers by providing short-term relief to them. This has enabled caregivers to engage in employment, social, personal, and educational activities. These dedicated volunteers assist many frail elderly persons with errands, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and many other activities so that they may remain in their home rather than be institutionalized.
The Institute of Gerontology provides educational outreach activities and programs to over 2,500 senior citizens from all sections and wards of the District of Columbia. Staff and members of the Institute's programs recruit volunteers through community fairs, tenant/resident association meetings, and neighborhood council meetings. Program participants are also very instrumental in recruiting other senior citizens through their congregations, senior housing, and other contacts.
The BODYWISE Program is funded by the DC Office on Aging. It is a program specifically designed and operated to promote health, wellness and fitness for persons 60 years of age or older in the District of Columbia. Some of the benefits which may be achieved include: an increase in participant's cardiovascular efficiency, muscular strength, flexibility, and overall life satisfaction. A key component of the program is to promote health, wellness, and prevention knowledge.
The BODYWISE Program consists of water, (swimming is not required) stretch, walk, and chair exercise classes. Each of these activities includes a health education component covering topics such as: the use of over-the counter drugs and prescription medication, blood pressure screening and the benefits of exercise for certain physical problems. The program also offers other opportunities for learning and socializing. Participants in the BODYWISE Program must meet eligibility:
- Be a resident of the District of Columbia
- Be 60 years of age or older
- Complete an Application form
- Obtain a Medical Release form executed and signed by his/her physician
- Medical Release form must be done annually